I’ve been driven by the belief in “make a difference” all my life. I grew up studying at the world-famous Yehudi Menuhin School (Yehudi Menuhin School), which is located in the verdant mountains of the English countryside. It is a mecca for many teenagers with musical dreams. I was eager to become a violinist and practiced for 4-6 hours a day. I did a good job, but it was very utilitarian and mechanical. I always feel that something is missing. In order to find the spark that can ignite my inner passion, I gave up my music study and plunged into the world of personal development. I once again found that I wanted to “do” big things. I was eager to read books, speak endlessly, and become a leadership expert. Since then, I have published a personal monograph, cooperated with global companies, and accumulated a considerable number of customers, but my primary focus is still “doing things.” I was obsessed with completing all the things on the task list, and ended up exhausted in the never-ending work. I have forgotten that human beings are human beings. The focus is on “human beings” rather than “human doings”. If the eyes are only fixed on one task after another, then humanity will be easily lost, and people will become mechanically rigid and eager for quick success.
The problem is that most of us have received rewards and recognition from our childhood, based on “what we did”, from babbling and toddling when we were young, to scores on exams during reading. After work, success and progress depend more on work performance. To sum up in three sentences: produce results, complete the project, and finish the matter.
We are now in the era of digitalization and automation, where widespread uncertainty and high psychological expectations coexist. Just doing things is not enough. According to estimates by neuroscientists, the human body sends 11 million messages to the brain every second, but people can only process 50% of them in a waking state, and the other half must be processed by the subconscious mind. In order to help people interpret information faster and save energy consumption in the decision-making process, the brain will build shortcuts. At this time, people need to rely on historical experience. When encountering similar situations or characters, we will automatically establish contacts. If our past experience is based on “doing things”, then the brain’s automatic navigation system will adopt this response by default.
But this method is difficult to adapt to the needs of the current rapid changes. We have to think about what kind of person we want to be and how to achieve this ideal state.
Be a humble person
Darren is an unsympathetic head of operations, famous for completing tasks regardless of cost. Once, a technical department encountered a crisis, and he was sent to fight a fire. After Darren took office, in accordance with his usual style, he fired a few stingers who were believed to be partly responsible for the problem. In this way, his prestige was established as planned. He acted arbitrarily, often arrogant to his subordinates, seldom listened carefully, and just worked harder and harder, and the result was a mess.
The company’s human resources director asked me for help. The results of my first meeting with Darren were not satisfactory. He was still arrogant, thinking that some of my comments were “too soft and a waste of time.” But he allowed me to talk to the management team to find out more problems. The team complained to me that the working atmosphere was “terrible” and “terrible”: everyone in the company is at risk, and there is a phenomenon of partiality and partiality. Capable people fell ill due to excessive stress, and even some employees fainted at work due to exhaustion.
I reported what I heard to Darren and asked him about the future outlook of the department. He replied to me that he hoped that this would be an inclusive working environment where everyone would continue to learn and rejoice for the progress and changes in work. I told Darren that if we continue to follow the current trend, his vision will definitely fail. The possibility of failure caused Darren to pay attention to the department’s problems.
But it is very difficult to reverse this situation, because it requires Darren to make a 180-degree turn. What he did before is now completely reversed. He took the initiative to meet with his subordinate managers to exchange new ideas and propose new ways of working. During the meeting with the team, he shared the previous department situation, frankly admitted his mistakes, explained the intention of changing the work style, and the need for cooperation from subordinates. Darren arranged an all-hands meeting where he and the management team described what they hoped to achieve in the future. He set up an opinion listening group so that employees in each department can put forward suggestions to correct corporate problems, and at the same time create a good working atmosphere, igniting everyone’s enthusiasm for learning and development.
Humility can be cultivated, but it requires openness and a willingness to make changes. This first requires the person concerned to have a learning mentality, stay connected when interacting with others, rather than one-way output, and actively seek feedback, so as to better understand how others feel about themselves.
Become a person who focuses on the present
Elaine is nearly 50 years old. As an experienced CFO, her life seems to be very fulfilled: she serves on the board of directors of the FTSE index (FTSE) constituent companies, her husband and wife are loving, raised three children, and her social life is very active. But when I counseled her, she felt that she often felt a sense of involuntary powerlessness in her life. She always felt that she was burdened with a lot of expectations and couldn’t concentrate, which caused her to lose the ability to focus on the present and focus.
For many of us, the expectations from team members, customers, consumers, and shareholders are urging us all the time. Technology makes the pace of work and life faster and faster. The ability to focus on the present becomes a basic skill to deal with complex situations and uncertainties. Paula Stannett, Chief Human Resources Officer of Heathrow Airport, was very touched when talking about the important role of focusing on the present. She believes that focusing on the present enables leaders to “see the status quo” and “understand what they are facing.” The true state of the country”. She especially emphasized: “Leaders who can read people’s meanings can feel the mental state and emotional fluctuations of their subordinates. This is very important for leaders to lead changes steadily. Only leaders who focus on the present can meet this requirement.”
Focusing on the present starts with cultivating your mind. The easiest way to do it is to observe mindfulness, that is, to concentrate. For example, the most basic aspect of leadership is listening-if a leader can’t focus on the present, then he can’t listen fully. Try to make yourself pay attention to other people’s words, not only his words, but also his expressions and behaviors, and consciously feel how much your concentration has improved and what kind of impact it has.
Become a flexible person
Wherever I go, companies, teams, and leaders are increasingly required to adapt to the socio-economic environment and deal with risks in the political and security fields. In the first 20 years of the 21st century, the world has undergone major changes. The rise of China’s economy and the setbacks of the international financial system are just the beginning. The subsequent global epidemic has brought extremely complex changes. How are you adapting to the changing situation?
Curiosity is very important. Keith Barr, CEO of InterContinental Hotels, said: “The most important lesson I learned is to be curious. Use curiosity to balance my intuition. As I grow older, I am more and more The more I feel that there are unknown areas that need to be explored. When I was 21, I thought I knew everything, but now I realize that I don’t know too much.”
Barr pointed out that the challenge is to keep the organization curious in the face of change. Heart. “When everything is changing rapidly, the organization must always face it with a strained mentality and be ready to challenge the status quo at any time. It must have a broad vision and actively explore all aspects of competition, technology, talents, systems, and culture. ”
Become a well-connected person
Once I went to Singapore to host a three-day seminar for the newly established regional leadership team of a global company. The company’s CEO Pam’s team worked closely with her as the core, but this time the organizational model has changed. Half of Pam’s current team is located in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
During interviews with team members, I felt that everyone was very excited about the opportunity to work together, but at the same time, they were worried about the different locations, time zones, cultural environments, and different working styles, and how to keep working enthusiasm. Pam and I agree that whether we can create conditions for the team to work together is the key to success or failure.
For the team to work together, everyone must first have a consensus on the results of the work. If there is no specific goal of shared responsibility, close cooperation is just a “beautiful” idea. Pam’s team first determined the five major endeavors in the next three years, and then set clear behavioral standards for how to conduct close cooperation in specific work. The team put forward four simple concepts: clear direction, understanding each other’s work priorities and role positioning; full implementation, everyone can take the lead in their own way; open and honest, can get ideas and ideas from any channel; communicate with each other, and communication channels can be diversification.
With a solid foundation for cooperation, team contacts will be more convenient.
In an era of drastic change, how can people keep up with the pace of change? Among the many options, if one thing is necessary, I think it is a strong curiosity. Curiosity is the basis of innovative insights, which are often referred to as “brain nutrition” by scientists. But unlocking curiosity takes time. At the beginning, there were many questions and few answers. With curiosity, it can lead to indecision and questioning the status quo. If you are under a lot of pressure at work and are eager to find answers and act quickly, then curiosity will add to your troubles. But if curiosity is lost, humans can only work mechanically, thus facing huge risks.
In 2016, the dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, James Ryan, delivered a speech at the graduation ceremony that quickly spread on the Internet, and the impact went far beyond the graduation hall, resonating widely. In his speech, Ryan provided 5 questions that stimulate curiosity. Although simple, they are widely used and effective. In the dialogue, if you need to stop for a moment to clarify the problem and deepen your understanding, people can ask the other person: “Wait a minute, what did you say?” And “My question is…?” It helps to broaden your thinking; “I can do something.” What?” means thinking in the instinctive response of reaching out; “can we do it first…?” is the suggestion to break the deadlock; finally, “what is really important?” reminds people when they are busy with daily affairs Don’t ignore the fundamental issues.
Become an ambitious person
How do leaders motivate their subordinates? Regardless of whether a leader has Oprah-style enthusiasm, or Jobs’ obsession to change the world, to inspire others, you must first inspire yourself. You need a convincing vision that presents an ideal future that excites you and is willing to fight for it. When creating a vision, we can examine it through four different perspectives.
1. What does your body feel to make you energetic? Make you enthusiastic? What can nourish your happiness? Where does your vitality come from?
2. Emotional experience. What is your love? What can make you happy? What can make you excited?
3. What intellectual activities can stimulate your curiosity? What can motivate you to learn? What can make you seek different insights? What can open up your mind?
4. What is your goal and mission? What can bring you meaning in life? What can nourish your soul? What do you cherish the most?
When the above four aspects are taken into consideration, you can create an inspiring and complete vision, and the meaning of a person’s existence will be there.
Today’s world is complex, changeable and full of challenges. As a leader, it is almost irresistible inner impulse to make a difference, but we must restrain the impulse. We need to consciously and deliberately decide what kind of person we want to be and how we should do it for this purpose. This is the only starting point for galloping in today’s world.